Background: Hugo Jury was Gauleiter of Niederdonau (Lower Danube), a region of Austria, from 1939-1945. The article appeared in November 1944. The title is a line from Luther’s hymn “A Mighty Fortress is Our God.”
The source: “Und wenn die Welt voll Teufel wär,’” Badener Zeitung, 22 November 1944, p. 1. This is taken from a newspaper article available on ANNO, an Austrian project to digitize a wide range of newspapers.
And Though the World with Devils Filled
As the expression of the firm German will to live, the total war effort more and more encompasses our entire people. The mobilization of all our strengths is in full force and has already reached a level that will make it forever impossible for our enemies to force Germany to its knees with their mass of manpower and their temporary superiority in war potential. The great crisis caused both by internal and external betrayal has been overcome and the enemy is beginning to learn that this time it faces the weapons of the most capable and most military people.
Our border Gau has also drawn the necessary lessons and conclusions from the events and setbacks of recent days. We are doing what we can along our southeastern border. We have incorporated all auxiliary forces into the Völkischer, as well as all men capable of military service who had not yet been called to service. We are ensuring that our fronts are ever firmer and our armaments factories are filled with numerous additional workers. As I travel through our Gau these days, I encounter everywhere the flames of greatest willingness for action and the most loyal willingness to do one’s duty. I see farmers, and especially farming women, doing their work so important to the war effort. I see workers, both men and women, laboring in the factories and workshops, and I am convinced that local emergency forces are not a slogan, but rather reality. What our women accomplish in soup kitchens or at the stove, or in caring for our wounded soldiers is almost miraculous. I return from my trips with renewed strength for my own work: a people that not only fights so bravely, but also produces so much and knows how to work so hard can never be defeated. It makes every sacrifice for its children and will win victory, were the whole world with devils filled.
Glowing love of the fatherland, national pride and self confidence are the motives that guide our people in its battle for honor, freedom, and prosperity. It follows from the categorical imperative of our fateful era, which will be even more impressive the more each individual acts on this knowledge. There are three principles that each individual must follow to guide his actions. One should think about them each day, even each hour, in each moment of weakness, in all cases of doubt. I will discuss these three facts in order, which should act as magic formulas or oaths for our whole lives.
First, this war is about everything, about the continued existence of our people, but also of the existence of each individual, man or woman, old person or child, farmer, worker, craftsman, merchant, civil servant, or whatever else. With victory or defeat we will all rise or fall, regardless of whether one is a National Socialist who stood by the Führer in those days, or whether he was a member of a so-called democratic party as a Red or a Black [Catholic]. Plutocracy and Bolshevism are both under the order of Jewry to wipe out the German people. Those who aren’t liquidated would be tortured slaves. Our children would have no future, our women would be fair game. German men would be sterilized or transported to Siberia. Murder and arson, the destruction of our economic capacity and our cultural monuments, would be the means to wipe out the German nation forever and to turn Germany — as they say — into a potato field. This is what our opponents have said. After the World War our enemy spoke of 20,000,000 Germans too many. Now they speak of 50,000,000 that have to be eliminated in the event of their victory. The German people answers the depravity of this Old Testament hatred with a determined “No, never!” We will fight to the last drop of blood and work our hands to the bone before we allow even a hair of our children to be touched.
Second, the present war was unleashed against us despite the repeatedly expressed wish and will of our Führer. It was forced on the German people at the moment when after decades of external and internal crises it was building a socialist state of the highest cultural level. Our enemies repeatedly rejected Adolf Hitler’s hand of peace because the Jew did not want to allow Germany to become strong and powerful again because of its internal unity, since that would have meant giving up their plans for world domination. We are not responsible for this war, but rather foreign governments led by the Jews are entirely responsible. The opponent himself recognizes or innocence, since he does not dare to reuse the war guilt lies of the World War again. Were we guilty of the war, we would have to cower in a mouse hole. We hare happy to be able to took into the eyes of any woman who has lost her son, any casualty of the war, any hard fighter or worker. We can demand the utmost from anyone because we ourselves are ready to give everything. If there is any justice, it must and will punish the Jewish warmongers and war-prolongers. Woe to them when the peoples blinded by the Jewish spirit awake!
Third, the knowledge that our just and holy war can never be lost gives us the strength to endure even the worst until a happy conclusion, and we can never be shaken. True, we have given up much during the period of setbacks, as a look at the map shows. At the same time, however, we have gained much, namely the advantage of interior lines that permits us to concentrate all our strengths. We are freed of almost unending territory behind our lines, where a spirit of being “behind the lines” can easily develop. If the proverb “The strong man is strongest alone” is true, then we were never stronger than we are now, for after the loss of our unreliable allies we are dependent only on ourselves and our own strength. The enemy who hoped to overrun Germany simultaneously from every side has met an iron wall at our borders and mobile warfare will turn into positional warfare, in which time is our strongest ally. The resistance of our fronts increases from day to day. The Wehrmacht and the Volkssturm know no weakness, and even the most brutal Anglo-American air terror cannot wear down the home front. Just as in the past, we hold the assurance of victory in our hands. I do not mean the much talked about miracle weapons, although the appearance recently of the V-2 has proven that German inventiveness never rests, but rather I am thinking of the fighting spirit and the creative strength of the German people, which has since the days of the Napoleonic wars of liberation has not grown weaker, but rather stronger.
Because we love our Germany, because we are true to our people, and because we trust Adolf Hitler, for whose work of liberation we have every reason to be thankful, we will never give up. We will lay down our weapons only when Germany and Europe are free from enemies and victory is ours. These three principles that I have discussed, however, will help us to do our duty and never weaken or grow weary in the place we hold during the nation’s fateful hour.
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